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Debt advisers hit road in a walk to save jobs
ADVICE centre staff are urging fundraisers to take part in their annual sponsored walk to support the service they provide.
Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre – which relies on donations and grants – only has enough funding to pay its five part-time staff until April next year.
Now the centre in Ashhurst Way hopes to raise more than £1,500 with the third annual River Walk on Saturday, which will help fund its staff there.
Julie Woodley, debt benefit adviser, said: “We never know from one year to the next whether we are safe.
“It is very important we raise money because numbers have increased dramatically due to the new benefit changes, the bedroom tax, and debt.”
From April 2012 to April 2013, the centre helped 2,089 residents.
Centre director Carol Roberts says she has seen an increase of about 500 clients needing help.
She said: “Nobody is safe.
“All the new benefit changes will affect families one way or another.
“They will need our advice.”
Ms Roberts said the centre lost £3,000 from grant funding in April and the money raised from the walk will help make up the shortfall.
She said: “We had had the funding for about four years.
“All the new benefits are starting to kick in, so this year we have gone up by another 500 clients.
“Debt advice has increased and the bedroom tax is causing a bit of a problem.”
A group of about 25 walkers is ready to join in so far, but residents are being encouraged to take part in the fundraising effort.
The walk starts at 11am at Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre.
Walkers will follow a route down to the King’s Arms in Sandford, Iffley Lock and back to the advice centre. Shorter routes are also available.
There is a £5 entry fee which includes a barbecue and refreshments at the end of the walk. Children enter for free.
The sea scouts based at Donnington Bridge will be marshalling the route.
Visit rhdadvicecentre.moonfruit.com or call the advice centre on 01865 438634.
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